Fish of the Week – Bombay duck

March 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The Bombay duck or bummalo (Harpadon nehereus, Bengali: bamaloh or loytta, Gujarati: bumla, Marathi: bombil: Bombeli, Sinhala)

Bombay duck on display for sale

Bombay duck on display for sale

is, despite its name, not a duck but a lizardfish. It is native to the waters between Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and Kutch in the Arabian Sea, and a small number are also found in the Bay of Bengal. Great numbers are also caught in the South China Sea. The fish is often dried and salted before it is consumed, as its meat does not have a distinctive taste of its own. After drying, the odour of the fish is extremely powerful, and it is usually transported in air-tight containers. Fresh fish are usually fried and served as a starter. In Mumbai, Konkan and the western coastal areas in India this dish is popularly known as Bombil Fry.

 

The origin of the term “Bombay duck” is uncertain. One popular etymology relates to railroads. The shoals of fish around the Eurasian continent were separated when the Indian plate moved into it, dividing the species along the coasts of Eastern and Western India. When the rail links started on the Indian sub-continent, people from eastern Bengal were made aware of the great availability of the locally prized fish on India’s western coasts and began importing them by the railways. Since the smell of the dried fish was overpowering, its transportation was later consigned to the mail train; the Bombay Mail (or Bombay Daak) thus reeked of the fish smell and “You smell like the Bombay Daak” was a common term in use in the days of the British Raj. In Bombay, the local English speakers then called it so, but it was eventually corrupted into “Bombay duck”. Nonetheless, the Oxford English Dictionary dates “Bombay duck” to at least 1850, two years before the first railroad in Bombay was constructed, making this explanation unlikely.
According to local Bangladeshi stories,[citation needed] the term Bombay duck was first coined by Robert Clive, after he tasted a piece during his conquest of Bengal. It is said that he associated the pungent smell with that of the newspapers and mail which would come in to the cantonments from Bombay. The term was later popularized among the British public by its appearance in Indian restaurants in the UK.
In his 1829 book of poems and “Indian reminiscences”, Sir Toby Rendrag (pseudonym) notes the “use of a fish nick-named ‘Bombay Duck'” and the phrase is used in texts as early as 1815.

 

In 1997, Bombay duck was banned by the European Commission (EC) of the European Union. The EC admitted that it had no “sanitary” evidence against the product and the UK Public Health Laboratory Service confirmed that there were no recorded cases of food poisoning, or bacterial contamination, associated with Bombay duck. It was banned because the EC only allows fish imports from India from approved freezing and canning factories, and bombay duck is not produced in factories. Before the ban, consumption in the United Kingdom was over 13 tonnes per year.
According to “The Save Bombay Duck campaign”, the Indian High Commission approached the European Commission about the ban. The EC adjusted the regulations so that the fish can still be dried in the open air but has to be packed in an “EC approved” packing station. A Birmingham wholesale merchant located a packing source in Mumbai, and the product became available again in the United Kingdom.
Bombay duck is available fresh in Canada in cities with large Indian populations, such as Toronto and Montreal and is generally known as bumla. Although mainly popular with Indians from Bengal, southern Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, it is increasingly consumed by the other South Asian populations, Bangaladeshis in particular.

 

 

 

 

Fried Bombay Ducks Recipe

 
Ingredients:
Bombay Ducks – 8, large, cleaned (800 gms)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tblsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli Powder – 1/2 tblsp
Lime Juice – 1/2 tblsp
Egg – 1
Refined Flour – 4 tblsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

 

 

Method:
1. Remove excess water by placing a heavy weight on the bombay ducks for 20 minutes.
2. Marinate them in a mixture of salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder and lime juice for 15
minutes.
3. Beat the egg and mix the flour into it to make a smooth batter.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
5. Dip each bombay duck in the batter and deep fry till golden brown and crisp.
6. Serve hot.
Printed from AwesomeCuisine.com

http://www.awesomecuisine.com/recipes/4633/fried-bombay-ducks.html

Cheese of the Week – Gouda

July 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Posted in cheese, Food | Leave a comment
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Named after the Dutch town of Gouda, just outside Rotterdam. It accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland and it has a very long history. Gouda is a traditional, creamery, hard cheese. It is round with very smooth, yellow, waxed rind. The flavor is sweet and fruity. As time passes, the taste intensifies and becomes more complex. Mature Gouda (18 months plus) is coated in black wax which provides a stark contrast to the deep yellow interior. Gouda is considered to be one of the world’s great cheeses. It is both a table cheese and a dessert cheese, excellent with fruit and wine. Gouda is now made globally in a style similar to the creation of Edam.
Country: Holland
Milk: cow milk
Texture: semi-hard
Fat content: 40 %
Gouda  is an orange cheese made from cow’s milk. The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but its name is not protected. However, the European Commission has confirmed that “Gouda Holland” is to be protected (although “Gouda” itself is not). Cheese under the name of Gouda is currently made and sold all around the world.
The cheese is from cultured milk that is heated until the curds separate from the whey. Some of the whey is then drained, and water is added. This is called “washing the curd”, and creates a sweeter cheese, as the washing removes some of the lactic acid. About ten percent of the mixture are curds, which are pressed into circular moulds for several hours. These moulds are the essential reason behind its traditional, characteristic shape. The cheese is then soaked in a brine solution, which gives the cheese and its rind a distinctive taste. The cheese is dried for a few days before being coated to prevent it from drying out, then it is aged. Depending on age classification, it can be aged a number of weeks to over seven years before it is ready to be eaten. As it ages, it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like calcium lactate or tyrosine crystals that form in older cheeses. After 24 months of aging, sodium chloride crystals start to form around the outside casing of the cheese. These crystals are usually removed with a soft cloth.
The term “Gouda” is now a universal name, and not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin. The term “Noord-Hollandse Gouda” is

Gouda at a cheese market

registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Status. The cheese itself was originally developed in Gouda which is in the Dutch province South Holland. The main distributor during this period of time was Pieter’s Kaas (Owned by Dutch priest Peter Haase)

Within the Netherlands, the cheeses vary based on age and additional ingredients. From young to old, these are: “Graskaas”, “Jong”, “Jong belegen”, “Belegen”, “Extra belegen”, “Oud” and “Overjarig”. Younger cheeses are creamier while older cheeses are harder and saltier.
Stinging nettle cheese, or “Brandnetelkaas”, is a type of gouda that contains stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). The small, green particles give the cheese a distinct flavour and appearance. Another variety of gouda contains small pieces of red capsicum, imparting a mildly spicy flavor.
Gouda is exported in two varieties: Young Gouda cheese, aged between 1 and 6 months, is a rich yellow in color and with a red or yellow paraffin wax coating. This cheese is easily sliced with a cheese slicer. Older Gouda cheese has a pungent underlying bitterness, yet is considerably creamier; it sometimes is discernible by a black paraffin wax coating. This strong-tasting cheese is hard and often brittle.
Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
INGREDIENTS:
1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon paparika
4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese,
shredded
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10 inch casserole dish.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until a roux forms. Stir in the milk, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth and thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
4. Combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce; transfer to prepared dish.

Cheese of the Week – Feta

June 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Posted in cheese, Food | Leave a comment
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Feta is one of the most famous cheeses in Greece. It is made in various sizes, often as a loaf-shape. Feta is solid, but crumbly with some fissures. Pure white, it has a milky fresh acidity. Feta was originally made with either ewe’s milk or a mixture of ewe’s and goat’s milk, but today most feta is made with pasteurized milk and tastes of little besides salt. Some people are put off by the strong salt content but the salt is intended only as a preservative and is not supposed to overpower the taste of the cheese. Feta can be soaked in fresh, cold water or milk for a few minutes or longer, if necessary, to make it less salty. It has a fat content of 40 – 50%.

Country: Greece
Milk: cow ewe and goat milk
Texture: soft

Feta is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece. Feta is a crumbly aged cheese, commonly produced in blocks, and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads (e.g. the Greek salad and Shopska salad in Bulgaria), pastries and in baking, notably in the popular phyllo-based dishes spanakopita (“spinach pie”) and tyropita (“cheese pie”) and combined with olive oil and vegetables. It can also be served cooked or grilled, as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.

Since 2002, feta has been a protected designation of origin product in the European Union. According to the relevant EU legislation, only those cheeses produced in a traditional way in some areas of Greece (mainland and the island of Lesbos), and made from sheep milk, or from a mixture of sheep and goats’ milk (up to 30%) of the same area, may bear the name “feta”. However, similar white brined cheeses (often called ‘white cheese’ in various languages) are found in the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea. Similar brined white cheeses produced outside the EU are often made partly or wholly of cow’s milk, and they are sometimes called ‘feta’.

Feta is a soft white brined cheese with small holes, a compact touch, few cuts, and no skin. It is usually formed into large blocks, which

Greek salad. Feta cheese, a traditional product, is usually sliced in small cubes or crumbled

are submerged in brine. Its flavor is tangy and salty, ranging from mild to sharp. Its maximum moisture is 56%, its minimum fat content in dry matter is 43%, and its pH usually ranges from 4.4 to 4.6.

Feta cheese is first recorded in the Byzantine Empire under the name πρόσφατος (prósphatos, “recent”, i.e. fresh), and was associated specifically with Crete. An Italian visitor to Candia in 1494 describes its storage in brine clearly.

The Greek word “feta” comes from the Italian word fetta (“slice”). It was introduced into the Greek language in the 17th century. Opinions vary whether it refers to the method of cutting the cheese in slices to serve on a plate or because of the practice of slicing it to place in barrels.

After a long legal battle with Denmark, which produced a cheese under the same name using artificially blanched cow’s milk, the term “feta” has been a protected designation of origin (PDO) since July 2002, which limits the term within the European Union to feta made exclusively of sheep’s/goat’s milk in Greece. According to the Commission, the biodiversity of the land coupled with the special breeds of sheep and goats used for milk is what gives feta cheese a specific aroma and flavor.

When needed to describe an imitation to feta, names such as “salad cheese” and “Greek-style cheese” are used. The European Commission gave other nations five years to find a new name for their “feta” cheese, or to stop production. Because of the decision by the European Union, Danish dairy company Arla Foods changed the name of their product to apetina.

 

 

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